Miss Emma Cooper

Emma Cooper

Miss Emma Cooper

Postgraduate research student

Phone: +44 (0)7491658729

Supervised by

Personal profile

Second year doctoral student funded by the London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership. Current research focusing on ice sheet deglaciation, palaeoclimate and palaeo-lake evolution at sites in Argentine and Chilean Patagonia (44-45oS), South America. 

Millennial- scale Patagonian Ice Sheet reconstructions have improved our understanding of Southern Hemisphere climate and glacier dynamics. Nevertheless, these techniques do not capture periods of rapid climate change operating at sub-centennial timescales (cf. Bendle et al., 2019), nor can they elucidate the role of local versus regional controls on glacier retreat, re-advance, and ice-marginal processes. Geochronological methods (cosmo, OSL, radiocarbon) have provided us with the capacity to date glacial landforms and sediments to a millennial-scale, with comparatively small uncertainties. However, a lack of high-resolution chronologies limits the accuracy of palaeo-ice sheet reconstructions. Glaciolacustrine varves (annually laminated sediments) from proglacial/ice-dammed lakes have become increasingly utilised in formerly glaciated regions, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere. These sediments offer the potential to improve our understanding of glacier response to periods of rapid climate change, glacier dynamics and ice-marginal processes through the generation of chronologies at centennial, decadal and interannual resolutions. In Patagonia, such sediments have not been fully exploited, though their presence has been known for some time (cf. Caldenius, 1932).

As such, my current research will aim to: (1) understand the structure and origin of geomorphological and sedimentological evolution in the Cisnes, Ñirehuao and Pico Valleys since the local Last Glacial Maximum, (2) to investigate, understand and document the role of Southern Hemisphere climate forcing on  Patagonian palaeo- glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum, Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition and early-Holocene, and (3) to elucidate the drivers behind Patagonian Ice Sheet response to periods of rapid climate change during the Last Glacial-Interglacial Transition.


Teaching Assistant (2019-2020): GG1015- Digital Geographies: Remote sensing and GIS

Educational background

PhD, Department of Geography (2018-2022)- Royal Holloway, University of London

Thesis (RHUL): 'Patagonian Ice Sheet deglaciation and palaeo-lake evolution in the Cisnes, Ñirehuao and Pico Valleys'.

Supervisors: Dr Varyl Thorndycraft, Dr Adrian Palmer, Dr Bethan Davies

MSc, Climate Change (2016-2017)- University College London

Dissertation (UCL): 'Revisiting the 8.2 kyr event: abrupt deglacial climate change and ocean circulation from the northern North Atlantic'.

Supervisor: Dr David Thornalley

BSc, Physical Geography (2013-2016)- Royal Holloway, University of London

Dissertation (RHUL, BAS): 'Distinguishing Polar Diamictons: a quantitative marine core analysis, the Amundsen Sea Sector, West Antarctica'.

Supervisors: Dr Bethan Davies (RHUL), Dr James Smith (BAS)

Other work

Research Assistant, (Sept-Dec 2017)- University College London

Work on RAPID-17-5P. A marine core that was collected from the Iceland Basin (S-Iceland) as part of the RAPID Climate Change programme. Sample preparation for sortable silt analysis, planktic foraminifera counts/ benthic picking for stable isotopes.

Laboratory Assistant, (2017)- University College London

Plant macrofossil picking, sorting and identification from lake sediments.

Placement, (Aug, 2015)- British Antarctic Survey

Student placement with Dr James Smith (Palaeo-Ice Sheets Working Group). Data manipulation (core properties data), sediment description, (sub)sampling and x-radiograph interpretation.

Research interests

  • Palaeoclimatology
  • Sedimentology
  • Ice sheet reconstruction
  • Geomorphology
  • Geochronology
  • Palaeoceangraphy



Twitter: @emlcpeer

ID: 34273308